|Dimensions (mm)||168 x 107 x 23mm|
|Weight (carats)||2650 carats|
OWN PART OF BOULDER HISTORY-ROUGH OPAL
THIS ROUGH PIECE BOULDER OPAL WAS TAKEN OFF WALL PANEL MADE BY DES BURTON IN MID TO LATE 1970 IN QUILPIE QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA
IN THOSE DAYS BOULDER OPAL WAS PLENTIFUL AND THEY MADE WALL PANELS 1.8 METER TALL OR OVER 6 FT TALL AND THESE DISPLAYS WENT INTO SHOPS
PANELS ARE WORTH $20,000
THIS ROUGH SPECIMEN IS FROM ONE OF THESE PANELS
SIZE ROUGH OPAL 168X107X123 MM
ONE IMAGE TAKEN DRY AND OTHER IMAGES WET .
DES WAS PIONEER OF THE BOULDER OPAL INDUSTRY AND BELOW IS SOME INFORMATION ABOUT HIM
Info from www.quilpie.qld.gov.au
Whilst in Quilpie, ensure you visit the iconic St Finbarr’s Church. In 1976 the Priest at the time Father John Ryan, believed that as Quilpie was an opal area, there should be some opal in the local Catholic Church, St Finbarr’s.
Father Ryan approached Des Burton, a local opal miner, for a quote on the cost of installing a border of opal around “Our Lady of Perpetual Succour”. Des Burton said “Leave it with me and I will see what I can do. It’s a bit bloody hard to quote on something like that. Why don’t I just give you that bit on the wall”? That ‘bit on the wall’ was almost an entire wall. Des cut ‘the wall’ into pieces, making up the beautiful opal front on the Altar, Lectern and Baptismal Font.
Des Burton was a pharmacist with a chemist shop in Quilpie who discovered the charm and mystical lure of opal Des’s fascination and love of opal turned him from a week-end prospector into a professional miner. Des and his wife Valma registered their first opal mining lease on 6th September 1967.
By the 1980’s after some good opal finds, Des had opened a number of retailing outlets including Quilpie Opals in Brisbane and later on shops at Surfers Paradise, Cairns and Perth. Des Burton passed away in February 1989. Des Burton is considered to be the most influential person in the history of opal mining in the Quilpie district and is also credited with showing the world the vibrant colour and captivating beauty of boulder opal.
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